Exciting Opportunity for Spaulding Ranch!
Submitted by Dan Everhart on October 21, 2015, 1:59 pm
Since November of 2012, the landmark Spaulding Ranch on Boise’s West Bench has been a site of concern to Preservation Idaho. Threatened with subdivision and tract housing development despite its status as a Boise City Historic District and its listing in the National Register of Historic Places, the 20 acre property has recently won an unexpected reprieve.
In October of 2015, the Boise City Council approved a process to study and consider a land transfer in which the Spaulding Ranch would be given to the City of Boise in exchange for 6.5 acres of land near the Boise River at the western edge of downtown. Although the investigation into the feasibility of this exchange will not be completed for a month, Preservation Idaho is optimistic that it will prove the viability of such a transaction and further the City of Boise’s stated goal of becoming the most livable city in the nation.
No firm plans for the Spaulding Ranch have been announced, but the city has retained Trout Architects to study the buildings which compose the farmstead. Trout, which has a wealth of experience working with historic structures, will undertake a structural assessment of the buildings and study the costs and feasibility of their potential stabilization, renovation, and use. Dependent on public engagement, the city might manage the 15 acres of pasture surrounding the farmstead as community open space with pathways, gardens, and interpretive signage.
The board of Preservation Idaho has wholeheartedly endorsed the City's acquisition of the Spaulding Ranch. We have also assured the city of our continued interest helping to plan the long-term maintenance, preservation, and use of the property. We stand ready to assist the City in these efforts in whatever way we are able and we encourage the public to share their support of the plan to City Council. It's important for city and state government to know what matters to Idahoans.
Learn more about Spaulding Ranch and the work of Preservation Idaho here.